The public sector is set to get its first dedicated nationwide
digital TV channel.
dktv (a Different Kind of TV) has raised around £1m from within
the sector to get the channel off the ground.
The biggest single investor, at £280,000, is The Housing
Corporation and staff at the BBC have been brought in to act as
Since the launch of a pilot broadcast last week, 600 homes in Newham,
east London, can access dktv, which broadcasts on video-on-demand
But there are plans to reach hundreds more homes in north London by
November and then take it nationwide next year.
dktv project manager Allen Therisa said talks have started with public
service providers across the UK: 'We have been to places such as
Leicester and Durham to see which public sector organisations want to -
and are able to - work with us.'
Content includes information on access to public services as well as
features on issues such as asylum seekers.
Carl Welham, chair of the IPR's local government group and Reading
council PR chief, welcomed the move but warned that previous channels
like this had flopped.
'Lots of councils have been trying to encourage neighbourhood TV,' he
said. 'In Reading there was a channel called Thames Valley TV for about
three years but it's so difficult for such channels to be commercially
Kate Pierce, Newham council PR manager, said it was important to
diversify the way the public sector communicates with residents: 'There
is a sector of residents who do not have access to websites. More people
have digital TV than you think.'
Other financial backers are the European Union, the Department of
Health, London & Quadrant Housing Trust, and Newham and Camden councils.